The Vampire Diaries review: Suns rise and love falls

After having Elena commit the one act she was dreading the most given her newfound vampirism in last week’s episode, personally anyway, the series delivered on the consequences for her actions. Tonight’s outing, “We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes,” was perhaps everything I thought the episode could be.

That said, if I had my way, Elena’s spiral towards darkness would not have stopped at which brother she wants to hook up with. That’s all fine and dandy (if you care about that stuff, otherwise it’s like just stop) but at this point not even Damon is dark enough for his character to be okay with the depth that this storyline can bring to Elena’s character and the series overall. I mean just imagine it. And I don’t mean imagine Elena saying how she’s transitioned like the writers had to make her do bluntly tonight, I mean just think about how it can broaden the show immensely. Just tonight, Elena standing in front of the bridge, willingly ready to kill herself because she’s become a “monster”[*] is precisely the sort of emotionally high caliber material we could be getting on a regular basis. And that’s just the shallow end of it.

[*] For the most part it’s hard to imagine Elena being so horrified that she killed someone who was a huge threat to her. Or that she cares what Katherine thinks. But when her mom finally showed up, the point was driven home. Up until then, however, I was a bit bored at watching Elena being bothered by people who aren’t close to her. The good news about Katherine is that she is very pithy, so at least it let Elena hear things she never wanted to.

Elena has sort of, very peculiarly, been okay with dying since forever. It’s been a weird juxtaposition to the girl who’s always wanted to live until she was old but thought the traditional life wasn’t pleasant enough to share with Matt. But for the most part, this is a character that isn’t all that afraid of dying. She would do it in a heartbeat for the greater good, or at least she claims so. And every single time she concocts a plan it usually involves her death in some way. Just last week she went on a suicide mission. Last season when she was trying to tame Evilaric, she held a knife up to her neck. She’s frequently harmed herself as a distraction. Basically, she is one cray chick with a death wish. And if you saw it that way tonight, it’s easy to understand why you may have been sort of over the whole Woe is Me thing. If you think about it: nothing has really changed. So let’s say Elena’s hallucinations are her own and not Connor magically entering her subconscious somehow, then that would still very well mean that Elena truthfully thinks the world is better without her in it.

I’m not saying the series is just going to use it to prop up the love triangle, even though it’s going in that direction now. I’m just saying that I hope they do use it more to deal with the intricacies in our leading lady’s psyche. And frankly, Stefan nor Damon are equipped to handle Elena going off the rails in that way. And they certainly wouldn’t be okay with it — who would? I’ll say it once more and then I’ll stop: I’m talking full-on self-loathingness can happen on The Vampire Diaries right now, sort of True Blood Bill style! I want Elena to melt into a pond of her own blood and rise like a Phoenix covered in blood as a monster.

Or something like that. (For the record, I’m definitely okay with Stefan and Elena breaking up. It’s been painfully obvious for the past five episodes who Elena feels closer to as a vampire and it’s definitely something we all called back in the season finale. Damon is closer to the darker spectrum; at least for now. But, y’know, still… THE FEELS.)

On the other half of the show, we have Bonnie still being asked to be a plot device and her deus ex machina of a teacher/romance/perhaps statutory rapist? (Wait is Bonnie 18 yet?) I’m just saying, he can hypnotize her to take off articles of her clothing, that’s sort of scary. Anyway… this is actually everything that I want. I can see it on the horizon. It’s coming! Jeremy, Bonnie, and Teacher (sorry, I’m really bad with names; y’all will forgive me right?) are at the beginning stages of forming a bond that’s on the opposite sides of all their vampire friends. I am in love with the idea here. I know that it’s sort of like Bonnie falling into a hole here, because she is trusting Teacher to a fault, but at the same time… why even perceive Teacher as a bad guy? I think the problem truly starts at the show’s inability to allow the audience to ride the fence with its characters. If anyone comes in and tries to put down these people who are bloodthirsty murderers, then they’re “villains.” What? This could be the storyline that puts that stupid notion to rest.

Meanwhile, tensions are growing between Tyler and Caroline. This was also sort of a recurring theme during tonight’s episode where fake-Katherine basically aired all of Elena’s insecurities about being saved by everyone. She was all, “Um people die because of you; you are the worst, you know that right?” And it happened again tonight with our Random Hybrid of the Episode (RHOTE, this is a thing that we’re going to be discussing from now on. If you read my Buffy recaps you’ll remember FOTE, now it’s RHOTEs). Tonight’s episode features Chris, who was obviously going to die. And he does. As it so happens Tyler isn’t okay with one of his friends dying just to save Elena’s ass because that kind of shit happens like all the time in Mystic Falls. The only thing that scene was really missing was more anger towards everyone instead of at just Caroline for going out on a date with Klaus. It would have allowed at least someone to actually be just a bit upset at Elena being everyone’s first priority in a way characters haven’t been allowed to do in the past.

Overall, I see a lot of potential with how this episode could catapult into an entire different beast for the show. But I don’t want to remain too hopeful. I’ve been burned before.

Quick bites:

  • Kind of a shame the show lost two POCs in one episode.
  • I don’t care that she was a hallucination, fake-Katherine makes me want real Katherine like yesterday. Can we just please get her back?
  • RIP RHOTE Chris.
  • I thought Damon would have told Elena that the reason she stopped hallucinating was because of her brother during that scene but nope he confessed about The Cure. By the way, why was this a secret ever? Also, why does everyone just want it to cure Elena.
  • In this episode, Stefan believes that Elena is “strong” enough to withstand the hallucinations, but I felt that was a little off given how much he’s been trying to protect her from herself this entire season.
  • Holy Aussie accent, Tonkin!
Tags: | Categories: Recaps
About the author: Michael Collado
Michael Collado
Mike's a television junkie located in Miami, where he spends all of his time watching TV with his best friends couch and cable access.

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  • Kassie

    Hahah. Evilaric. Poor RHOTEs. Never stand a chance!

  • Nicole

    ” If anyone comes in and tries to put down these people who are bloodthirsty murderers, then they’re “villains.” What? This could be the storyline that puts that stupid notion to rest.”

    Yeah, that annoys me. Bonnie also gets a lot of hate whenever she points out that the vampires aren’t the best people in the world. And I’d like to be optimistic, but I am sure Shane is evil because he seems to like Bonnie. Good things just don’t happen to her. I can’t even believe I know his name, but I savor what Bonnie screen time I get so I pay attention I guess.

  • http://www.facebook.com/linda.vickers.967 Linda Vickers

    THIS Ep was bad
    MORE BONNIE would have been GREAT that is why a Watched the show Live Today. I Will not be doing that any more any time soon if They want ME to WATCH TVD LIVE GIVE ME SOMETHING I WOULD WANT TO SEE and that is not the ring of Crap de . Also this show should really Take I Look At how it Just KILL OF ANY AND ALL POC that come on the show . while a NEW Useless Bitch Like April is Still Here taking up Air time . Was Happy to see Stefan has A Back Bone and can Stand up for Him self and will not sit back and be played like a Fool Un- like Damon . Love Seeing Connor he is great he came this close to getting the job done . Will Shane bring about Dark Bonnie ? that Story He told It seem to say Something is Coming very foreshadowing. I also think Bonnie Powers have something to do with it . Tyler has EVERY right to be MAD that a friend of his and some one he was helping was Killed just so Elena who is Not Strong enough Even as a Vamp to take care of her Self . So WHY is it that she a Vamp if she can not Even try to be BAD ASS on any thing ? Seem the only Point of Elena right now and from now on is so People will have someone to Rescue BELLA IS BETTER then Elena . I all so saw that Klaus Say He would Kill Caroline if she said another word WOW

    I have come to see that TVD will Never Be up there with

    Buffy

    Angel

    Charmed

    Farscape

    Star Gate

    Are any other good TV shows like them WHY ? Think about these 5 shows and all they have in them now think about TVD YEAH you see that

  • Eric Pharand

    One of the worst episodes except for (hopefully) the ending.

  • Chris

    I may be in the minority here but I LOVED this episode. Yeah the Elena’s going to die (yeah right) but instead someone dies in her place is getting REALLY old. But I think what saved this episode was Paul Wesley. His emotion and…ahh! Just everything in the last scene where they were breaking up was just AWESOME. So subtle but you could SEE how his heart was breaking. I’ve always been a Damon/Elena shipper but Paul’s performance in that scene had me changing my mind.

    • Nicole

      I’m not exactly a Stefan/Elena fan but I do like them solely because of
      Stefan, and I agree about his performance. I never expected to like him,
      but I always just want him to be happy.

      • cacherr1

        I been saying it for years but out of the three technically Paul actually deserves a legit award for his acting and he very under-appreciated by the writers and this fanbase. He really carried that scene.

        • QMargo

          I second that! A lot of people lately (I personally saw this since season 1) have been saying that Damon gets the better material which makes Stefan look dull and depressing. And I totally agree with that except I view it as Damon gets super teenage line to make him look and sound cool while the lines they write for Stefan most of the time do not sound serious enough for me to take him that way. But getting back to the break-up, Paul definitively deserves credit for that entire scene – I love it how he manages to hold back the tears and not have a shaky voice – I felt so much for him in that moment – it was just good.

  • keeks

    I’m getting really tired of the men folk saying Elena is a danger to herself. That she can’t just do things on her own or she’s too weak and fragile to handle the truth. She wouldn’t be if you would just tell her the fucking truth. And even if she makes poor decisions they’re still her decisions to make. She’s not a goddamn bunny rabbit that shits on the carpet, she is an adult woman.

    What infuriated me so much about the previous episode was the constant back and forth of whether or not Elena should be allowed to do ANYTHING. God forbid she break a nail when someone tells her not to. It’s just so patronizing and the guys continue to infantilize her even though she’s a fucking VAMPIRE. Even as a fucking vampire she is somehow incapable of taking care of herself and figuring out things on her own.

    And it goes without saying that the POC death rate is hella high on this show. It’s bad enough that Kat Graham is the only actor/actress of color most of the time, aside from Trevino though his character is non-Latino white, but she’s not even among the main cast. She’s just a guest. And her character is repeatedly undermined and only serves as a slave to other characters.

    And there’s a running joke that the night Caroline turned she could not find a single white person to feed on.

    I liked that Connor was allowed to resurface. His character has been a breath of fresh air.

    And I guess the extra hybrids only exist in order to be killed. And so far we’ve lost an Asian, white and black hybrid this season. 2/3 being MOC. I don’t see why they had to kill Chris. I mean seriously, guy never hurt anyone and he was a good person. So yeah, fuck that noise.

    Ank provided some good posts on dead POC’s like this one: http://www.ankhesen-mie.net/2012/01/poc-of-vampire-diaries-bree.html

    And off the top of my head: Sheila Bennett (twice), Emily Bennett, Jonas and Luka Martin, Anna and Pearl, Greta Martin, Carter, Gloria, Abby Bennett (vamp by force), Chris, Asian hybrid, black female hybrid from last season, Connor, Aimee Bradley (Katherine casualty), and the black witch who created The Five.

    Perhaps more white characters have died by if we’re looking at proportions the survival rate of Asian characters is 0% and it’s pretty damn low if you’re black.

    The show annoys me in that in makes vampire existence nearly indistinct from human existence. You can still be in the sun, you can go to school, you can drive a car, you don’t need to kill people in order to live, and you can even eat regular people food. And drink alcohol. And eternal youth! Never to suffer from disease. If vampires are a cursed lot they sure don’t look it.

    I’m glad that secrets were eventually resolved and the ending was pretty good.

    And totally second another commentator in agreeing with this: “I think the problem truly starts at the show’s inability to allow the audience to ride the fence with its characters. If anyone comes in and tries to put down these people who are bloodthirsty murderers, then
    they’re “villains.” What? This could be the storyline that puts that stupid notion to rest.”

    You could see the beginnings of this with Jeremy questioning why even he needs to be glamored so many times. He’ll probably never know his own sister had him glamored for selfish reasons.

    And I don’t think they’re ever going to allow people to be legitimately upset with Elena or her vamp boys. Would upset the fandom a bit too much, esp if that anger is coming from Bonnie. I mean the girl only has to say like five negative words and then everyone wants to burn her to a stake.

    • Nicole

      Ah, thanks for your list and the link! I snark a lot about how POC are handled on this show, but so many of them die that I can’t even keep track. So now I can snark better. Plus, how terrible is that a. Pearl and Anna died, they were always very touching and b. it is really cruel that Gina Torres was underused in her guest spot. I still remember thinking that episode was going to be awesome because she was in it and… she didn’t really do anything. Wasted opportunity.

      • cacherr1

        This show treatment of Sci-fi/Fantasy royalty is pretty horrible. And I think after Gina was on I actually realize just how young the majority of this fanbase was. I think Sebastian’s time was wasted as well and let’s face it they overhyped him to get supernatural fans in (who imo really hate on tvd like no other).

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1148206774 Marilou Gropatsakis

      really?you’re making this show a racist one?you sat down and counted aaall the people that died and how many of them were black or african descented or poc or whatever(god forbid if i say the wrong word and sound like a racist!)?that ”ohh the white people are so racist and black people always die” card is soooo boring.sorry but that’s true.if there are poc people on a show that’s rasist because the producers put them there so it would appear like a non-rasist show.if there are less poc people than white,that’s racist cause they are less!if they live that’s rasist too,cause they show that poc people survive by killing white people and that’s racist cause it’s stereotypical to show that poc people are the bad ones.the list goes on and on.

      • cacherr1

        There has been conversation rather viewers who are poc would prefer inclusion, stereotyping or erasure… neither is a good choice as it like asking someone what type of trash they prefer? However I rather producers be honest instead about their casting decisions and their writing decisions because if Elena didn’t have to be blond and it was all about the acting, does that mean the role was open to WOC?
        However I can not really follow your argument but I will state this show writes in a very racialized way and it doesn’t help that the writers spend amount of time glorifying Antebellum history.
        Pulling this card is boring? what card? I am sick and tired of being referring to issue as if we are playing some card game.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1148206774 Marilou Gropatsakis

          then don’t watch it.i don’t really see the reason why you watch a show that so obviously as you say disrespects your heritage.just like the girl who owns the blog that keeks posted:she keeps going on and on about how racist VD is but watches the show and writes reviews about the characters!i mean really?anyways i think that you overeacting and that you see racists everywhere.obviously that;s your choice and we live in free country but i believe that there are many,more crucial problems for us out there.have a nice day.

          • cacherr1

            You need to just shut up and read about the problems before addressing it… your ignorance is clearly showing. How am I over-reacting? I don’t see racism everywhere, I am just acknowledging it still prevalent in today’s society albeit in a subtle way but again you are clearly ignorant so shut the hell up as you don’t know me. Cause since when is racism and prejudice not crucial problem?
            I think other viewers need to shut the hell up about telling people to stop watching because last time I check this show only manages to get any attention because it had good ratings for the CW. So how about be grateful people still watch the show. I criticize it because I know they can do better and because I want to a be a producer but guess what I have stopped watching the show, so it not getting ratings from me, however I do enjoy Michael’s reviews, so I can keep reading them…thank you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1148206774 Marilou Gropatsakis

            ok you have a biiiiiiiig problem.go to your mama so she can teach you some manners ok?how dare you telling me to shut up?do you know me?i’ve been perfectly polite but just because you don’t like my opinion i’ve been adressed as a troll,i’ve been told that i attack people and i’ve been told to shut up!are you kidding me?i don’t give a damn if you feel that there’s a double standart in the shows of cw or in the world or in a galaxy far far away.that’s the last response of mine to you and to everyone else.have a nice life(doubt it but whatever)

          • cacherr1

            you need to shut up because you are not willing to have a real conversation on race relations and television. Your entire original post trivialize the whole thing therefore making it rude and offensive. I am telling you to shut up because you sound ignorant and quite frankly was getting out of pocket. I don’t have big problem but you do and it called ignorance. my mother taught me perfect manners but she also told me call people on their bs and quite frankly with your last comment on not caring about double standards because I can see from your photo race/racism doesn’t affect you hence why you were so quick to trivialize it. How about you go learn how to spell racist before using it again and like I said before go read on what exactly people are talking about. I really hope you have nice life (and I do mean that because you could be the sweetest person ever).

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1148206774 Marilou Gropatsakis

            ok i said that i wouldn’t answer,but i couldn’t resist.race/racism doesn’t affect me?and you think this because of what?my photo?and what does this photo tell you?that i’m the ”perfect white girl”?sorry to burst your bubble but that’s wrong.i’m greek-american and unless you live under a stone,you’ve heard of Greece and the current problems of greeks.just because the economy of greece sucks everyone assumes that all people of greek heritage are:stupid,lazy,thieves and uneducated.also greeks weren’t considered as white people until the 1940s.before that it was ”no blacks,greeks and rats” signs in the dinners and ”white woman was seen with greek man” on the papers.they were considered a race on their own!how stupid was that?in elementary school kids were asking me if i were a gypsy cause they thought that greeks were gypsies.so you don’t know me you don’t know what problems i have in my life but let me tell you that mine are way too serious and they are about real life not tv shows.also i do know how to spell racist.if i put sometimes s instead of c it’s because i always did that mistake,i don’t know why,don’t ask me.so i really hope that this discussion will be over at last and i do hope that you had a nice thanksgiving and stuffed your face with food and peanut butter pie,cause i did.

          • cacherr1

            I know about Greece and what happening there currently, I am not some stereotypical American who don’t know shit about world news. First off the tv show based it self in our world and celebrates things that happen in real life. But again you are trivializing the problem… The fact of matter is I am pointing out minorities in general are not given much to work with in Hollywood and this show is an example of it. That is a real issue. While I mostly see tv as poorly entertainment, television has been used to educate alot of young people today. So yes I take issue with the imagery and narrative TVD puts across because it just as wrong as Birth of Nation film is wrong, maybe I take offense because I hate to think that the industry I want to be apart of really hasn’t progress a lot. I apologize if I offended you what you came off hell of rude and quite frankly we would had been fine had you not said the most ignorant: “race card” saying because again, how is it card? I said TVD writes in a racialized way and trope the hell of stuff and quite frankly I know they can do better and I have seen better than them. I take bigger issue because this stuff has been pointed out to Julie as bothersome but instead being mature and addressing it like Jeff Davis did, she ends up unfortunately proving people’s bad opinions or started some twitter fight (cause it make little sense how Kat Graham has had repeated racist remarks thrown at her and no one from this cast as tight as they claim to be come in…I won’t address Matt Davis as I think he just says douche comments be thinking).

            I personally think the way you worded what you said came off the wrong way…I didn’t mean for this to blow up but your original post really irked me and imo you made this personal with your second post. I don’t think you are troll but imo you are no equip for such conversation on media and race today.

            As for Thanksgiving… I don’t really care for it and unfortunately (or fortunately for health reasons) spending some time in the UK has cut my eating portions down (I am sort of like Chandler Bing I don’t really like Thanksgiving food lol.) I hope you enjoy your food, I waiting for Michael Jackson Bad 25 special… so I going to be in la la land for the night. Sha’mone!

        • Pellinore

          She’s just trolling. I don’t take her attack personally b/c I know who I am. My commentary was not meant for her.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1148206774 Marilou Gropatsakis

            just because someone doesn’t agree with you 1st.it doesn’t mean that they’re attacking 2nd.it doesn’t mean that they’re trolling.your way of thinking is very sad.

    • InvestedInYourFuture

      Horrible amounts of sexism(elena gilbert has to be the second WORST female character ever created, right after Bella swan and let’s not even start about Sage or Meredith), misogyny and racism is pretty much half the reason I dropped this show like a hot potato.

      Of course, given, CW is NOT a paragon of human rights or any sort of equality, but when your show starts to top even Supernatural in terms of racism and misogyny, you just know you have a huge problem.

      (the other half the reason being that the show has been simply badly written, broken, trainwrecky and nonsensical for quite some time now)

      • katherine_fan

        I think you forgot Damon.Maybe because you don’t watch the show anymore.His comments on women at Shane’s classroom were horrible.But can you explain to me why Meredith is a misogynist?

  • trang

    I AGREE!!!!! everything Katherine said, even though it was in Elena’s imagination, made my nod or laugh. she is just amazing. WE WANT HER BACK FOR GOOD. also we would appreciate ur photo recap Michael ;)

  • katherine_fan

    I never saw Connor as a villain b/c he was a vampire hunter.I just had a hard time seeing him as a good guy,b/c he was willing to do whatever it took to kill vamps (like hurting April).I’m definitely Team Tyler-Chris was a friend,too,they shouldn’t have used him like that,etc.I need Katherine!! Why didn’t Elena use her blood to cure Jeremy??The ring he wears is dangerous.I don’t understand why everyone wants the cure for Elena and not for themselves as well.Is Elena (the girl who left her brother die) the only person who deserves to be ‘saved’?

    • lala

      I just cant believe they killed a friend of tyler’s, someone who had just put his life in danger to help them, just to make elena sopt hallucinating!!! It’s insane! ans that caronlie tried to justified it… And klaus was ok with one of his hybrids dieing, just to get a date??… so silly…
      Cant wait for the next episode, it seems it will finally be a delena one!!!

  • QMargo

    The break-up had to come and I am glad it did, because even though I prefer SE to DE, I am more Team Salvatore brothers when it comes to this pseudo triangle – so I am glad Stefan walked out of it – guy deserves better. Elena is a total weirdo, I have no idea how Damon is going to handle her…My main question is – is Stefan now still going to try and find the cure? Or will Klaus just force him to do it…by oh I don’t know threatening to kill everyone in Mystic Falls? Haha, its true even Elena dying and becoming a vampire still puts every human and supernatural at risk.

    Anyway, I spent most of this episode LOLing:

    - For once Damon’s reference to Jeremy was spot-on – Van Helsing

    - I am guessing the greater evil is Silas – LOL, couldn’t they have come up with a more obvious evil name?

    - Speaking of that – sorry, but the only character whose name is allowed to be Atticus will forever be Atticus Finch

    - LOL at Caroline telling Klaus not to get mad. Cos you know, its Klaus.

    • Brittany

      I’m waiting for people to start giving Klaus some side-eye whenever he threatens to kill their loved ones. If I was Bonnie or Stefan in a situation like that with Klaus, I’d be like “Really dude? Really? How am I supposed to take you seriously when you’re pining away for some 18 year old run of the mill blonde cheerleader and you’re like a gazillion years old? Please tell me how you’re going to kill my family with your pony drawings…”

      Klaus ain’t $$$$ lol

  • A

    Everything is Delena and nothing hurts <3

    Also, I really loved Katherine being frank with Elena and telling her like it is. FINALLY someone gets upset that people die just to save Elena.

    Stefan and Elena's break up was really well done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1148206774 Marilou Gropatsakis

    the last episode annoyed me.come on people!elena was the little bimbo that can do nothing by herself and everytime she makes a decision she screws up.bonnie is constantly the party killer,damon and stefan ”oh lala we run after elena’s ass all the time!” and that vampire hunter was dead!y u not stay dead,man?when stefan said that he will dump elena if she continues to want damon i was like ”hell yeah!!!!you do that,son!!!” and that stupid idea about the cure and everybody wanting it for elena!why?doesn’t caroline also deserves a chance in having a normal life and babies if she wants to?or tyler?the show is called ”the vampire diaries” not ”elena’s show”.i feel like i’m watching GG S05!!(the blair’s show).

  • Brittany

    Now you know Michael that Plec & company wouldn’t explore the arc of Elena’s psyche – that would be too much depth for them to attempt. Why do that when you can just add another love interest & triangle to distract people from the plotholes & the cray-cray that is their main leading lady.